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Selecting the Appropriate Procedure for Requesting an Order of Nondisclosure

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Introduction

In order to make it simpler for you to determine which procedure or section of the Government Code is the correct one to use to request an order of nondisclosure, this page will lead you through a series of questions and steps to help you figure out if you qualify for nondisclosure and if so what forms to use. 
 
After answering the questions, you will determine either that you are not eligible for an order of nondisclosure and should proceed no further, or that you are eligible for an order of nondisclosure and should proceed to a particular page for additional information and instructions.
 
Each section designated below has requirements that you must satisfy in addition to those that apply to ALL Orders of Non-Disclosure. Please read over the page at the link on the previous page titled “Basic Requirements for All Orders of Nondisclosure” to ensure you qualify under the basic eligibility rules. If you don't qualify under the basic nondisclosure rules you do not qualify for any order of nondisclosure for any offense. 

Each section designated below has requirements that you must satisfy in addition to those listed on the basic nondisclosure rules page.  The following four questions will assist you in determining which section of the nondisclosure law, if any, applies to your offense.

The nondisclosure law changed dramatically in 2017.  These changes revoked the previous changes that went into effect September 1, 2015.  The September 1, 2015 changes are no longer applicable.  The 2017 changes are hugely beneficial and greatly expand nondisclosure eligibility.  Most significantly, the 2017 changes apply retroactively, meaning they apply to all offenses regardless of when the offense was committed. 

The new nondisclosure law in broken in multiple sections.  The sections are organized as follows:

Sec. 411.072: “Automatic” nondisclosure for deferred adjudication: certain nonviolent misdemeanors.

-This section only applies to a person who receives a discharge and dismissal on or after September 1, 2017.

-The court will seal the case upon discharge and dismissal.  The process for this type of nondisclosure involves an application to the court rather than the filing of a formal petition. 

Sec. 411.0725: Nondisclosure for deferred adjudication: felonies and misdemeanors.

Sec. 411.0727: Nondisclosures for successful completion of Veterans Treatment Court Program

Sec. 411.0728: Nondisclosures for Certain Victims of Trafficking of Persons

Sec. 411.073: Nondisclosures for probation (community supervision) following misdemeanor conviction. 

Sec. 411.0731: Nondisclosures for probation (community supervision) following DWI (driving while intoxicated) conviction

-This is a brand new sections just added in the 2017 changes.  Certain DWI convictions can now be sealed via nondisclosure.

Sec. 411.0735: Nondisclosures for misdemeanor conviction.

Sec. 411.0736: Nondisclosures for DWI (driving while intoxicated) convictions.

-This is also a brand new section just added by the 2017 changes. Certain DWI convictions can now be sealed via nondisclosure. 

The following questions will help you determine which section applies to you, and which set of forms to use in preparing your nondisclosure petition and order.  

Question 1: “Is the offense for which you are requesting an order of nondisclosure a misdemeanor in which you were placed on deferred adjudication?”

If your answer to Question 1 is “YES,” other than the offense for which you are requesting an order of nondisclosure, have you ever been previously convicted of or placed on deferred adjudication for an offense other than a fine-only traffic offense?

  • If your answer is “YES,” follow the procedure for Section 411.0725.
  • If your answer is “NO,” is the offense for which you are requesting an order of nondisclosure a misdemeanor in which your discharge and dismissal was entered ON OR AFTER September 1, 2017?
  • If your answer is “YES,” upon dismissal and discharge for the offense, did the judge enter an affirmative finding that it is not in the best interest of justice for you to receive an automatic order of nondisclosure and file a statement of this affirmative finding in the papers of your case?
    • If your answer is “YES,” follow the procedure for Section 411.0725.
    • If your answer is “NO,” is the offense for which you are requesting an order of nondisclosure a misdemeanor under Penal Code Chapters 20 (kidnapping, unlawful restraint, or smuggling of persons), 21 (sexual offenses), 22 (assaultive offenses), 25 (offenses against the family), 42 (disorderly conduct and related offenses), 43 (public indecency offenses), 46 (weapons offenses), or 71 (organized crime offenses)?

If your answer to Question 1 is “NO”, please refer back to the list of questions to find the scenario that best fits your situation.  

Question 2: "Is the offense for which you are requesting an order of nondisclosure a felony?"
  • If your answer to Question 2 is “NO,” please refer back to the list of questions to find the scenario that best fits your situation. 
  • If your answer is “YES,” were you placed on deferred adjudication for that offense?
    • If your answer is “YES,” (You were placed on deferred adjudication) follow the procedure for Section 411.0725.
    • If your answer is “NO,” you are not eligible for an order of nondisclosure and none of the remaining questions apply to you.  Nondisclosure is unfortunately not available if you were ultimately convicted of the felony offense. 
Question 3 - “Is the offense for which you are seeking an order of nondisclosure a misdemeanor for which you were convicted? (“conviction” includes any sentence of probation, a fine only, or imprisonment)”

If your answer to Question 3 is “YES,” other than the offense for which you are requesting an order of nondisclosure, have you ever been previously convicted or placed on deferred adjudication for an offense other than a fine-only traffic offense?

  • If your answer is “YES,” you are not eligible for an order of nondisclosure. None of the remaining questions apply to you.
  • If your answer is “NO,” is the offense for which you are requesting an order of nondisclosure an offense under Penal Code Secs. 49.04 (driving while intoxicated)?
    • If your answer is “YES,” please go back and follow the sequence of questions following “Question 4” related to all Driving While Intoxicated offenses. 
  • If your answer is “NO,” is the offense for which you are requesting an order of nondisclosure one of the following: Alcoholic Beverage Code Sec. 106.041 (driving or operating watercraft under the influence of alcohol by minor), 49.05 (flying while intoxicated), 49.06 (boating while intoxicated), or 49.065 (assembling or operating an amusement ride while intoxicated), or Chapter 71 (organized crime)?
    • If your answer is “YES,” you are not eligible for an order of nondisclosure, and none of the remaining questions apply to you.
    • If your answer is “NO,” were you placed on probation (also known as community supervision) for the offense for which you are requesting an order of nondisclosure, including probation that required you to serve a term of confinement as a condition of the probation or being placed on probation after you served a term of confinement?
Question 4: “Is the offense for which you are seeking an order of nondisclosure a Driving While Intoxicated misdemeanor (Penal Code Section 49.04) for which you were convicted? (“conviction” includes a sentence of probation, a fine only, or imprisonment)"

If your answer to Question 4 is “YES,” other than the offense for which you are requesting an order of nondisclosure, have you ever been previously convicted or placed on deferred adjudication for an offense other than a fine-only traffic offense?

  • If your answer is “YES,” you are not eligible for an order of nondisclosure. None of the remaining questions apply to you.
  • If your answer is “NO,” was your DWI conviction a Class A Misdemeanor (meaning it was shown that your blood alcohol, urine, or breath showed an alcohol concentration level of 0.15 or more)?
    • If your answer is “YES,” you are not eligible for an order of nondisclosure, and none of the remaining questions apply to you. 
  • If your answer is “NO,” did your DWI offense involve an accident involving any other person, including a passenger in your own vehicle?
    • If your answer is “YES,” you are not eligible for an order of nondisclosure, and none of the remaining questions apply to you.
    • If your answer is “NO,” were you placed on probation (also known as community supervision) for the offense for which you are requesting an order of nondisclosure, including probation that required you to serve a term of confinement as a condition of the probation or being placed on probation after you served a term of confinement?
Question 5: “Did you participate in a veterans’ treatment court for the offense for which you are seeking an order of nondisclosure?”
Question 6: “Was the offense for which you are seeking an order of nondisclosure committed solely as a victim of trafficking of persons?”